Monday, June 30, 2014

A Good Morning for Freedom

One advantage of being curmudgeonly is that when good things actually do happen, they can be such a pleasant surprise.  I did not expect the Supreme Court to rule for non-union home heath workers or for Hobby Lobby.  I expected this to be a dark morning for freedom.  But, thanks be to God, I was wrong!

I will note that in both the Harris and Hobby Lobby rulings, four of the justices voted against constitutional freedom.  That confirms that we cannot allow the Senate and the Presidency to remain in the hands of Democrats, and best not allow establishment RINOs to control those institutions either.  We are too close to descending into an anti-constitutional tyranny from which we may never escape.

But for this morning, constitutional freedom has prevailed.  And, for that I am greatly thankful.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Jeremy Pemberton is Disciplined

In April, I said that Church of England Canon Jeremy Pemberton must be disciplined for entering a gay “marriage.”  I will not repeat my reasons for being so adamant; I laid them out then.

I do want to give the Church of England and Bishop Richard Inwood credit for having the backbone to indeed discipline Pemberton:

The first clergyman to enter into a gay marriage in defiance of the Church of England has been ‘sacked’ by his bishop.

Sources said Canon Jeremy Pemberton, who married Laurence Cunnington in April, is to have his rights to operate as a priest revoked.

He will no longer be able to conduct services in the diocese, though he remains employed by the NHS as a hospital chaplain.

The decision by the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham Richard Inwood to remove the Canon’s ‘Permission to Officiate’ will also make it very difficult for him to function as a priest anywhere else in the Church of England.

Church of England bishops are thought to lack backbones, but it turned out not to be so in this case. 

Yes, I am mildly surprised.

Friday, June 27, 2014

McDaniel: Over 1000 Illegal Votes Found in ONE County

I have not yet brought myself to post here about the travesty in Mississippi Tuesday.  That may be a good thing as my anger could have caused this blog to combust and create a chain reaction of conflagration across the internet.

Now that I have slightly cooled, I’ve reflected on what the Republican big government establishment’s disgusting tactics and victory mean for the relationship between conservatives and the GOP.  But I will leave that topic for another day.

What I do want to point out is that Cochran’s victory was aided by massive fraud, namely by Democrat Primary voters breaking the law to vote in the Republican Run-off Tuesday.  Chris McDaniel says his people have found over 1000 examples of that in one county alone.

If that county is not an outlier, a McDaniel challenge of the election may have more basis than many think. Cochran won by just over 6000 votes, and it is safe to say just about all the illegal Democrat votes (again, Democrat primary voters who illegally voted in the GOP runoff) were for Cochran.

In any case, this is an outrageous instance of Establishment Republicans importing Democrat vote fraud into a Republican Primary.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Democrat News Media: Clinton Hack to Become Chief Anchor at ABC News

Yes, this is something of a Dog Bites Man story.  But long-time Democrat hack George Stephanopoulos (Remember him from the Clinton White House?) is becoming the chief anchor at ABC News.  Yes, a Clinton hack just in time for Hillary’s White House run.  (David Muir will anchor the evening “World News.”)

Yes, too predictable.  But it gives me an opportunity to announce a new policy.  I will no longer call ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, The New York Times, etc. ad nauseam the “Mainstream News Media,” not even in scare quotes.  From henceforth, I will use “Democrat News Media.”  For that is what they are, and, unlike past days, they no longer make much of an effort to be unbiased or even appear to be unbiased.  Their coverage, if it can be called that, of the various Obama scandals, pretty much puts the last nail in the coffin of their credibility.  The vast majority of the time, they tilt or even suppress their coverage to advance the agenda of the Democrat Party.  Heck, they even engage in literally cheerleading Democrats as I noted two days ago.

(That CNN incident and “news” media treatment of the Obama scandals were the last straws for me, by the way, in prompting this blog policy change.)

They are hardly mainstream and have not been for years.  They are unofficial propaganda organs of the Democrat Party and should be treated as such.  And, henceforth, that is exactly what I will do.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Downfall XXIII: GDP Down 2.9% (And a certain election last night.)

The shock 1st Quarter GDP number released this morning – down 2.9% -- makes it more difficult for Obama to hold on to his power.  As I’ve mentioned before, if the economy is bad, voters will be less tolerant of Obama’s enormities.  (And it will be fun seeing Democrats trying to blame the bad numbers on climate change.)

But then Establishment Republicans seem intent on alienating the conservative Republican base.  As illustrated all too well in Mississippi, RINOs would rather be in league with liberal Democrats than with Tea Partiers.  And they are pretty darn open about it now.  So Obama and the Democrats still have that going for them.

I may opine more on that in due time. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

CNN Caught Cheerleading for Hillary

And by “cheerleading”, I do mean actual, literal cheerleading.

When CNN rolled out the red carpet for Hillary Clinton’s town-hall interview with Christiane Amanpour, they did more than just build a set and invite an audience to participate. According to the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, who attended the event, CNN warmed up the crowd for Hillary and even coached them on how to cheer and make noise to demonstrate enthusiasm for the former Secretary of State.

There's more here.  But all the talk about the “Mainstream” News Media being in the tank for Democrats is just right-wing paranoia, don’tcha know.

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Sermon for the First Sunday After Trinity

As I warned, I read Morning Prayer and preached a sermon yesterday.  Here it is.  Again, you have been warned.

First Sunday After Trinity, Morning Prayer
Psalm 73
Jeremiah 23:23-32
Matthew 7:13-29

Living Signs

Last Sunday, we celebrated Trinity Sunday.  And the sermon mentioned that is it an unusual holy day.  For instead of focusing on an event - such as does Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, and Pentecost - Trinity Sunday focuses on a truth, on a doctrine, that of the Holy Trinity.

And you may have noticed that in the process of celebrating and remembering that great Truth, we also noted false doctrines that are not true, particularly as we recited the Athanasian Creed.  Moreover, the Athanasian Creed notes quite a number of false doctrines that are not true.  And although it perhaps may have sounded a bit odd to us, that creed illustrates an important point about virtually all the doctrines of our faith.  The truths of The Faith Once Delivered to the Saints are such that doctrines and beliefs not in line with that Holy Faith are false.  And, indeed, the Bible teaches so again and again.

And so did our Lord teach again and again.  Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  Jesus was not post-modern.  He was not a relativist.  He did not say, “I am a way and a truth, but there are many ways, and if something is true for you, then it’s true.  Go ye and find your own path!”

No, he said, “I am the way, and the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father except though this way, though me.”

And that remains true and ever will be.

But teach such truth to modern ears, and you will be thought narrow-minded and worse.  Moreover teach that truth is true, period; that falsehood is false, period and that – and here’s how to really get a rise out of modern and post-modern people today – teach that sin is sinful, period.  Teach that and you will be labeled a bigot.  “How dare you teach that my way is false and wrong!” is a response we might receive.  Other responses might not be appropriate to be recited from this pulpit.

We can see all around us that the Lord’s teaching about truth – what Francis Schaeffer called “true truth” that is true regardless of whether man thinks so or not – the Lord’s teachings about truth and falsehood grate on modern ears. 

So what should we do?  Should we follow the lead of certain mainline denominations and of the so-called Emergent movement?  Should we follow the example of Katherine Jefferts Schori and Brian McLaren, and be more flexible about truth?  Heck, even Pope Francis has welcomed Muslim prayers during a service for peace at the Vatican.  Should we for the sake of peace in this modern world, hold to a more “generous orthodoxy” as McLaren advocates and as Pope Francis practices? Should we massage and adapt the Christian message to today? For the sake of reaching modern and post-modern people, should we make our Gospel more flexible, more broad, less insistent on truth and falsehood, on right and wrong?

No.  We should not!

And that not only because truth remains true, period.  And falsehood remains false, period.  But also because people’s lives are at stake.  Look at our 2nd Lesson today from Matthew 7.

Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

The way to life – and we just saw from Jesus’ teaching that the way to life is Jesus and his truth – the way to life is narrow.  Other, more broad ways?  They lead to destruction.

This is why Jesus then immediately warns about false teachers in Matthew 7.  And note that he did not say, “Beware of false prophets, for they are . . . incorrect.”  No, he said beware of false prophets, because may wear sheep’s clothing, they may claim to be to be truthful even Christian leaders and teachers, but they are really ravenous wolves which devour souls with their lies.  False teachers lead people off the way of Jesus to broad ways of destruction.  And that is why there are numerous warnings about false teachers throughout both the Old and New Testaments.

Time does not permit me to go further on that topic.  But that may be God’s mercy.  Almost as dangerous as false teachers is getting me started on the topic of false teachers and church leaders.

St. Paul taught that we should follow Jesus by teaching the truth in love.  One reason we seek to teach the truth and to love people through our words, our lives, and our worship is we do not want people heading to destruction.  We want people on the narrow way that leads to life.  We want people to follow Jesus.  So something more important and weighty than being merely intellectually or theologically correct is here.

Now if I may digress for a moment.  I know this is not the happiest of sermons.  And I confess, I can be a hard man.  So allow to be more positive for a moment.   There is one area of modern life that has not yet been corrupted by post-modern relativistic rubbish.  And that area is highway signs.

Now I am not a great fan of the Department of Public Safety.  The date of my driver’s license expiring is a date I dread more than death.  But I have to give credit where credit is due.  If a bridge collapses because it is taken out by a flood or by other mishap, they will not wring their hands and say, “It would be so dogmatic to say the bridge is ‘out’.  That word ‘out’ is so exclusive.  We should be inclusive.”

Someone suggests, “How about a sign that says, ‘Different Bridge Ahead’.”

“Well, that’s better.  But ‘different’ may offend.  People may take that in a negative way.  I got it.  Let’s say “Alternative Bridge Ahead.”

So instead of “BRIDGE OUT” the post-modern DPS puts up a sign that says “ALTERNATIVE BRIDGE AHEAD”.

And let’s say our enlightened DPS does not want to put up a “ROAD CLOSED” sign because who are we to get in the way of people following the ways they want to go.  So the DPS of the state of New Relativism puts up a sign that says “FOLLOW YOUR OWN PATH.”

Does the real DPS put up signs like that?  No, they do not.  They put up a “ROAD CLOSED” sign.  And in case people are tempted to ignore that sign, they may also put up a warning sign that says, “BRIDGE OUT AHEAD.”  Yes, very dogmatic, but that’s what they do.  And then they also put up “DETOUR” signs --  instead of getting you killed this way leads to where you want to go.

When it comes to matters of truth and falsehood, and life and death, we should be like highway signs.  Now, yes, we should be more personable and loving than highway signs.  But the world and this messed up culture in particular is telling people “ALTERNATIVE BRIDGE AHEAD” and “FOLLOW YOUR OWN PATH.”  We as the Church and as Christians should tell people that the bridge is out ahead.  In fact it’s hardly a bridge at all, and certainly no bridge to God; it’s a broken bridge to destruction.  And the broad highway there that looks so attractive leads to destruction.

And we need to tell people, there’s a better way.  Really there is only one Way, Jesus Christ.  We need to be honest and confess that we are sinners, too.  We need to be forgiven, too.  Like our collect this morning, we should be humble.  We don’t have it all together and we don’t know it all.

But we know the One who does.  And he loves us and knows the way for us.   Because He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  And we should invite people to follow him with us.  We should be living signs that point to the Way.

Now if in our words, our lives, and our worship, we proclaim the truth, “true truth”, The Truth, and also warn about falsehood and its deadly consequences, there are people that aren’t going to like it.  And there may be persecution even.  Now the persecution of Christians going on here in the West is nothing compared to the persecution of Christians going on in places like Iraq, Sudan, Northeast Nigeria, North Korea, but persecution here in the West is increasing and is likely to keep increasing.  And short of persecution is a lot of displeasure from this world concerning the Gospel.

But what is more weighty? The displeasure and pressure of this world or the pleasure of God?  Of God saying to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” and of his children saying to us, “Thank you for having the love and the courage, the guts, to be living signs pointing us to the Way”?

There is truth, period.  There is falsehood, period.  There are ways that lead to destruction.  And there is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

With God’s help, let’s live like it.

Let us pray.

O GOD, the strength of all those who put their trust in thee; Mercifully accept our prayers; and because, through the weakness of our mortal nature, we can do no good thing without thee, grant us the help of thy grace, that in keeping thy commandments we may please thee, both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Foley Beach On Leaving The Episcopal Church in 2004

It took a while, but the ACNA College of Bishops conclave selected a new Archbishop yesterday, Foley Beach.

I cannot claim to be familiar with him, but everything I’ve read about him encourages me about his selection.  I particularly like his statement ten years ago upon departing The Episcopal Church.  This comes from A Living Text, where there are other notable past statements from Archbishop Beach.

I am forty-five years old and for thirty-four of those years I have been an active participant in the Episcopal Church. I was baptized, confirmed, married, ordained a deacon, and ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church. It has served to shape and form me spiritually and it has taught me tremendous aspects about worshiping Almighty God.

The Church has been a place of stability and refuge, although it has always been in need of reform. But recent actions of the Episcopal Church have taken spiritual depravity to new depth for the modern era.

The Church which taught me the Gospel has now adopted a new Gospel which reduces Jesus to nothing more than one option among many. The Church which introduced me to the Word of God has now rewritten the Word of God to placate cultural and political pressures put upon it by intellectual extremists.

The Church which taught me to confess and repent of my sins has now embraced and endorsed certain sins which have become culturally accepted. The actions of the 2003 General Convention in approving the consecration of a non-celibate homosexual person to be a bishop in the Church, and its approval of a method by which liturgies may be used for same-sex unions in the Church is the presenting issue of a much deeper theological and moral problem within the Church.

While these decisions are clearly in contradiction to the teaching of the Bible, the lessons of Church History and Tradition, and the mind of the world-wide Anglican Communion, they demonstrate a clear obsession with reinterpreting the Scriptures and an amazing disregard to the consequences of their actions on other Christians throughout the world whether Anglican or not.

A revisionist philosophy has overtaken the ethos of the Church which interprets the Scriptures, Church History and Tradition not according to what they actually say, but according to how one is made to feel and in order to be pastorally sensitive. I cannot be apart of such forsaking of Christian teaching and morality.

To remain in the Episcopal Church is on some level affirming the direction the church has taken whether I agree or not. To remain in the Episcopal Church is to pretend that I am not a participant in this abomination before the Lord.

To remain in the Episcopal Church would be to knowingly violate my conscience, and that I cannot do and keep my soul intact. To remain in the Episcopal Church and take communion with those who teach and practice this false teaching would be a clear violation of the Scriptures (For example, 1 Cor.5). Some say that I must stay and fight for reform and change the direction of the Church. This has been my battle cry for the past 24 years.

I have come to the conclusion that the best way to reform it is to leave it and allow the devastation of embracing sin to run its course. I must be about preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and teaching the principles of the Word of God. My calling from God is not to lead or participate in an ecclesiastical fight which will evolve to litigation in the secular courts over sacred idols and mammon.

While that may be the call from the Lord for others, my calling is to help people discover the most wonderful gift in the world — a living, dynamic, personal, and saving relationship with Jesus. I cannot do this and be a part of an organizational structure which now at its core denies the very things which I hold dear. The Apostle James wrote that to know the right thing to do and not do it, is sin (James 4:17). For me this is the right thing to do and not to do it would be sin before God.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The “Lost” IRS E-mails – Close to a Smoking Gun?

This has been a busy week and is a busy weekend as I lead Morning Prayer, preach a sermon and teach young adults tomorrow.  But I cannot let pass without note developments on the IRS scandal, particularly the oh-so-conveniently “lost” e-mails of Lois Lerner and other key IRS players.

We may now be nearer a smoking gun on an IRS cover-up or worse than most think.  First, circumstantial evidence surrounding the lost e-mails is close to damning.  Kim Strassel, in an excellent must-read piece, notes that the supposed crash of Lois Lerner’s hard drive occurred about ten days after Ways and Means Committee Chair David Camp sent a letter to the IRS asking if they were engaged in political targeting.  Coincidence or convenience?

And if you think e-mails weren’t “lost” to protect Obama, consider that another IRS official whose e-mails were “lost”, Nikole Flax, visited the White House more than thirty times.

Second, the “lost” e-mails bring us to a point where it would take only one whistleblower and not a very high up one – perhaps from IRS IT? – to blow the lid off this scandal and cover-up.  It would not take much at this point to prove what is already obvious – the IRS is covering up criminal abuse of their power for political objectives.

Friday, June 13, 2014

About the New REC Presiding Bishop

As I’ve mentioned, the Reformed Episcopal Church in General Council has chosen a new Presiding Bishop this week, the Most Rev. Royal U. Grote.

For some years Bishop Grote has been the Bishop of my parish.  So most years, we have been privileged to be visited by him.  On occasion, I’ve gotten to host him in my home.

I can testify that he is an easy, adaptable and very sociable guest. I’ve long noticed he is approachable and full of good conversation.  He has told me a fun story or two I dare not repeat here!

He is an engaging teacher who delights in digging out nuggets from scripture and from history.  He is both gentle and straight-spoken.

I have noticed that he seems not to be a great fan of blogs at times, which is understandable.  But that has not kept him from being very affable with this blogger.

I could go on.  But the General Council has chosen well as just about anyone in the Reformed Episcopal Church can testify.  Royal Grote is a good man and an excellent bishop, now Presiding Bishop.

I cannot conclude without commending to you the report to General Council of the outgoing Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Leonard Riches.  It is moving and profound.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

BREAKING: Royal Grote elected as REC Presiding Bishop

As expected, the General Council of the Reformed Episcopal Church (ACNA) today elected the Rt. Rev. Royal U. Grote, Jr. as Presiding Bishop.

I am pleased though not at all surprised to see this.  I hope to make further comments soon.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I do not know of a nice, artful way to begin this unhappy post, so I’ll just get right to it.  The latest monthly Gallup Poll on Obama’s numbers has his approval at 44%.  And this is no outlier.  Other polls indicate that is about right.

What that means is after IRS Targeting, Benghazi, racist Justice Department policies, years of a weak economy, and outright tyranny, about 44% of the American people are still okay with Obama.  Further, in the midst of the VA Scandal, the Bergdahl debacle, the EPA’s attack on our economy, and the continuing Obamacare cramdown, 44% approve of Obama’s performance.

I used to fear what the Obama regime would do to the United States.  Now I fear what the people of the United States will do to this country.  Apparently at least 40% are so ignorant, foolish, looting, evil, bigoted, complacent, Fed-worshiping, and/or power hungry that they approve of Fed tyranny and incompetence as we are now experiencing under Obama.  I’m sorry; I cannot sugarcoat this or find excuses.  One can massage the numbers, take into account intensity, probable voters, etc., but I, for one, cannot escape what these numbers say about far too many of the people of the United States.

I am well aware this post will offend people.  But I know of no nice way to face up to what the American people have become.  Far too many of us are scarcely American anymore.  Our fathers fought tyranny.  Now 44% of us approve of it.  And that even after being given reason after reason after reason to condemn it.

Now I am not talking about all who voted for Obama.  I can certainly understand how someone could vote for him, particularly back in 2008.  And a number of those see that they erred.  What disturbs me are the numbers of those who still approve of his performance, his tyranny.

A populace such as that is difficult for any nation to overcome and still remain free.

Yes, I am close to despair about the future of the United States.


Housekeeping: This morning I noticed a number of legit comments in recent months that apparently did not get published.  I do not know what happened, but I do apologize.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Downfall XXII: Obama Angers Democrats

I must admit, past Obama enormities have not dragged down his regime as I’ve expected.  I’ve even wondered if my Downfall series is one big wrong prediction. The IRS Targeting Scandal, Benghazi, etc have not provoked enough Democrats to significantly erode his base of support which remains around 40%.  (I will defer on commenting on what that says about his base.)

But his latest enormities may not be so.  The EPA’s proposed carbon reduction regs, the Veterans Administration Scandal, and the Bergdahl trade have this in common – anger over these is crossing party lines more.  Yes, even Democrats are getting provoked now.  I guess destroying entire industries, jacking up electric bills, dragging down the entire economy, killing veterans with long waits for care and then covering it up with fraud, and trading a known deserter for five high-level, high-risk Taliban are enormities even many Democrats cannot abide.  And perhaps outrage after outrage has finally worn down their tolerance.

The normally easy on Obama Mad Magazine is a case in point:

Whether these indeed prove to be tipping points or blow over in time to preserve Obama’s power is to be seen.  Although the anger over these is broader than over most past enormities, this all could blow over, yes.  I’d say why, but I said I would defer on commenting about the character of Obama’s base.  Not to mention I need to get back to proof editing my novel...

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Housekeeping (Or a nice problem to have)

My return to more frequent blogging is clearly delayed, and I think I owe readers an explanation.

I am going over my novel, Pilot Point, one last final time before publication.  I really mean it this time.  I have it in proof form and am reading it carefully to catch errors previous edits missed.  (And, yes, there are a few.)

Being that close to publication is a nice problem to have, exciting even, but it is a problem as I have only so much time and so much energy, particularly for writing.  So I think I need to continue to be selective in my blogging for a few more weeks.  I hope to blog more frequently again before mid-July, maybe sooner.

If you just have to have the benefit of my ranting wisdom, I am still tweeting.  One benefit of that platform is that one can use it to put observations out there without spending much time.

Thanks for your prayers and patience.